“A Timesheet Is Just A Timesheet”

During my early days as a trainee at an American Company called Businessland we were drilled in that very 90’s mantra “the customer is always right”. It’s rare to find myself straying from those principles but I did find myself having to tell a customer recently that they were just plain wrong.

The conversation concerned Professional Services Automation Software (PSA) and during the course of the presentation we were giving on [email protected] the customer remarked “a timesheet is just a timesheet”. For the petrol heads reading this, it’s akin to being told “an engine is just an engine” and for many of our clients who are Architects and Engineers I dread to imagine their response were I to say “a building is just 4 walls and some glass”.

I’d be the first to admit that on the face of it a timesheet is nothing more than an electronic piece of paper. However the power in products such as [email protected] is that behind the scenes, numerous complex calculations are taking place in order to produce meaningful management reports which empower Project Managers and Directors to make informed decisions.

Understanding your levels of Utilisation and Realisation and ensuring that Revenue Recognition is handled properly can only be done if that “simple timesheet” has something of consequence underneath the bonnet and so as you consider your organisation requirements in this area here are some questions to ask of any potential system:

1. Will it handle “real world” pricing models, for example different daily rates for different consultants on different projects?
2. Can it automatically calculate cross charges for inter company clients or projects?
3. Will it calculate utilisation and realisation levels for in real time for full and part time staff?
4. Can it correctly calculate fee levels in multiple currencies for the same consultant based on the client or project chosen?
5. Will it accurately calculate the quantity and value of WIP?
6. Can it tell you your best clients and your most profitable employees?
7. Can you immediately see the value of rechargeable expenses?

These are just a few examples of the real world questions which [email protected] enables an organisation to answer, all from a simple timesheet.